Posted by Kimberly Scott
I grew up in a pastor’s home and was daily reminded throughout my childhood of how important it is to “walk” with the Lord in a way that will bring honor to him. In my early twenties, however, I realized that my “talk” would draw or repel my friends to or away from Christ. In my desire to please friends and be included, I found myself listening to and engaging in gossip. Here I am now – pushing 50 years old – and the struggle is STILL real, girls. Like everyday, real.
Church life can be hard and we are all looking for ways to process those unique challenges but it’s HOW we do it that matters. Our words are powerful and gossip is toxic. Just sayin’.
We are surrounded and bombarded by new forms of communication in our culture all the time. Texts, instant messages, social media, tweets, signs, billboards and media are dominating and leading the way for a means of connection as well as opportunities to voice our opinions. While these are effective ways of quickly making a statement or getting a point across, there can be a wake in our hurried rush that can crush and wound those we love as well as the casual observer.
Our communication and words affect everyone who will come across our paths. We are BILLBOARDS of what we believe, who we are and how we reflect God. We’ve got to TALK the walk! That’s why Paul encourages Titus to remind the believers that they shouldn’t speak evil of anyone, and should avoid bickering and quarrels. They should also be peaceable and considerate to everyone and show gentleness (Titus 3:1-2).
In our daily lives we have the ability to bring life or crush it by the words we speak. Based on what we say and how we say it, others can sense whether or not we are safe, supportive and loving or critical, whining and negative. While our culture tells us “Speak your mind! No filter!” God calls us to represent him with what we say and how we say it to bring his light and love to those around us. Talking the walk is a choice we make every time we open our mouths as we speak life and hope and build a legacy behind us that points to Jesus.
My son, Ronnie, was deployed in Afghanistan as a soldier with the U.S. Army. While he was at boot camp and isolated from outside communication, I sent him a letter each day. Those were very dark days emotionally and physically as he was being prepared for excruciating challenges that he could face on the battlefield. The letters I sent reminded him daily of his purpose, his value, his faith and our deep love for and commitment to him. They were loving letters from home, and they kept him grounded through months of separation and isolation, encouraging him just like Paul encouraged Titus. Keep the faith! Talk the walk! Exhibit Christ in your life!
Before you call, text or download to a friend, be sure to spend a quick minute processing with the One who knows and loves you the most. Sometimes just five minutes in the Bible can serve as a personal love letter to you, especially if you’re going through excruciating challenges. It can bring encouragement each day as it describes how much God loves you, how he sees you, how he values you and how he designed and created you for his purposes and will replace those discouraging words that tear down and destroy. You will then in turn be full and able to pour out to those you love and influence every day! Come on ladies…let’s TALK THE WALK!
Food for thought…
On any given day, do you find that your words build up or tear down? Choose a verse to commit to memory so that you speak it when you are tempted to say something that doesn’t edify.